The Shadow Sector is the main setting of Deadlocked, with one of its planets, Orxon, visited in Ratchet & Clank. It is a galactic sector located on the fringes of the Solana Galaxy. It is a lawless and largely unexplored region of Solana, where the illegal gladiator holovision show, DreadZone, was hosted. Gleeman Vox and his conglomerate Vox Industries were based in the Shadow Sector, with Vox owning many planets within and using them as DreadZone battlecourses.
Ratchet and Clank first visited the Shadow Sector very briefly when traveling to Orxon, the blarg homeworld, in their first adventure. They later returned there involuntarily, when taken to the Shadow Sector after they were kidnapped and forced to participate in DreadZone. During their time, Ratchet fought on several DreadZone battlecourses across the sector, while Clank worked to undermine DreadZone from within. Eventually, Ratchet and Clank defeated Gleeman Vox and shut DreadZone down, before leaving the sector.
Before being known as the Shadow Sector, early colonists of the region of space came to the Valix Belt to mine valuable metals. One of the planets, Torval, was once a shining jewel of the Solana Galaxy because of its achievements in arts, science, medicine, and literature. Before the sector was a lawless haven for criminals, it was home to Maraxus Prison, a compound feared and hated in a thousand systems that housed the most dangerous criminals with the expectation they would grow old and die there. However, the planet around the prison fell to bits, and the inmates were released onto a desert planet.
The sector was apparently hit by several wars involving robots. Torval was entirely ravaged by war to the point of becoming entirely abandoned until it was partially rebuilt by Vox Industries later. One war that took place on Catacrom Four involved a force named Grunt Troops. After a battle, the planet became home to a sacred robot burial ground. Several robots also fought in the Blathercon War, in which Green fought and lost his legs and many comrades.[a]
Gleeman Vox eventually established DreadZone, a combat sport where heroes were forced to battle for entertainment, which ran for up to six years and six seasons.[b] Vox had aspirations not only of earning large fortunes from holovision ratings, but also expanding the battlecourses to spread across the sector (and later the universe), thus owning all of known space. At its peak, Vox owned 100,000 locations within the Shadow Sector. When Vox forced Ratchet to compete, however, he not only became champion of that DreadZone season, but defeated Vox himself, and stopped DreadZone.
Shadow Sector is a haven for criminals, as no organized law enforcement agency in the known universe was bold enough to uphold any laws. At the time of Deadlocked, it was home to over four trillion sentient beings.[c]
Culture and entertainment in the Shadow Sector do not appear to differ too greatly to the Solana Galaxy at large, as both the show Secret Agent Clank, and the pop star Courtney Gears, are popular within the region. The major difference is the presence of DreadZone and the Vox Network. DreadZone has a popularity of around four trillion sentient beings within the Shadow Sector, yet most of Solana went unaware of the show's existence.[d]
The Shadow Sector is home to at least 100,000 major locations, including ancient ruins, battlefields, and unstable stations, that were all owned by Gleeman Vox at the height of his power.
All planets appeared only in Deadlocked, with the exception of Orxon, which appeared in the original Ratchet & Clank.
|Catacrom Four||Catacrom Graveyard||A planet home to ancient ruins and robot burial grounds, of which many are robotic zombies.|
|Kronos||Dark Cathedral||A dark and stormy planet in the Shadow Sector home to the dark cathedral, and other buildings with a sinister appearance. Featured a DreadZone campaign on which Shellshock was fought.|
|Maraxus||Maraxus Prison||A desert planet in the Shadow Sector home to a prison used in a DreadZone campaign.|
|Orxon||Mining facility||The former homeworld of the blarg located in the Shadow Sector that was rendered uninhabitable as its air was too poisonous and water too toxic, due to heavy industrialization. This caused the blarg to evacuate the planet and find a new home. Later was used for a DreadZone campaign.|
|Sarathos||Sarathos Swamp Romp||A planet with a very gaseous atmosphere covered in alien swamps, home to many dangerous beasts, such as the King Leviathan.|
|Shaar||Temple of Shaar||An ice planet home to many ancient temples.|
|Stygia||Tempus Control Station||A cold planet in the Shadow Sector plagued by meteor showers, which are only held in check by large forcefields, which were once disabled for a DreadZone campaign.|
|Torval||Unnamed city.||A deserted planet home to many toy factories that were owned by Gleeman Vox, infested with zombie robots.|
|DreadZone Station||A space station in the Shadow Sector that served as the main hub for DreadZone, Vox Industries, and Gleeman Vox. DreadZone participants resided here, and the station contains the Battledome.|
|Ghost Station||An area constructed by Vox Industries, used by DreadZone as its most difficult battlecourse.|
|Valix Belt||A group of asteroids home to a DreadZone campaign, right next to a black hole.|
- Green describes in some detail his experience in the Blathercon War, but does not specify a planet it was located on. As Green's epilogue states he never left the Shadow Sector until after Ratchet destroyed DreadZone, it can be assumed that this took place in some part of the sector.
- Dallas Wanamaker apologized for subjecting Juanita Alvaro to his behavior for six years, though it is unknown for how many of them DreadZone was operating. Ace Hardlight was described as a five-time grand champion of DreadZone, suggesting the show had five seasons before Ratchet's season, the sixth.
- Four trillion sentient beings of life are known to watch DreadZone. Dallas Wanamaker later says that DreadZone has six trillion fans, suggesting this could be higher; however, it is known that Gleeman Vox has holovision stations across four galaxies, suggesting that the bulk of these six trillion were based in the Shadow Sector.
- The heroes Ace Hardlight, Captain Starshield, Hydro Girl, and later Ratchet mysteriously disappeared without the authorities knowing their whereabouts. The kidnappings were described as a rumor. Starshield's death in DreadZone was not reported widely until a week after it aired.
- Deadlocked, game manual (NTSC), p. 15
- Off 2005, p. 63
- Off 2005, p. 70
- Off 2005, p. 81
- Deadlocked menu § "The Commando"
- Deadlocked script § "Catacrom Four"
- Deadlocked script § "Blathercon War"
- Deadlocked, Extras § "Merc and Green"
- Deadlocked script § "Destroy the Central Core (gameplay)"
- Deadlocked script § "News Break"
- Off 2005, p. 7
- Deadlocked, game manual (NTSC), p. 12
- Deadlocked script § "Ace Toys Suck"
- Deadlocked script § "Not Captain Starshield!"
- Insomniac Games official website 2005
- Deadlocked script § "Death of a Salesman"
- Insomniac Games (2002). Ratchet & Clank [Game]. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Insomniac Games (2005). Ratchet: Deadlocked. PlayStation 2. Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Greg Off (November 2005). Ratchet Deadlocked Prima Official Game Guide. Prima Games. ISBN 0761552049.
- Insomniac Games (October 19, 2005). Entertainment News - News Update. Insomniac Games. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019.